Donald Trump

The billionaire businessman surges to 41 percent after releasing proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.


By Nick Gass
12/14/15 – 12:00 PM EST
Updated 12/14/15 – 12:48 PM EST

Donald Trump just got a little more vault in his ceiling. Nationwide, the polling-obsessed Manhattan multi-billionaire and leading Republican presidential candidate broke into the 40s on Monday.

According to the results of the latest Monmouth University poll surveying voters identifying as Republican or independents leaning toward the GOP, Trump earned 41 percent, nearly tripling the support of his closest rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who took 14 percent.

The poll underscores Trump’s success at keeping voters fixated on his unprecedented presidential campaign. The latest national survey was taken after Trump landed another whopper, proposing in an emailed statement last Monday to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. The statement gave Trump another boost of media attention, and some speculated it was designed to shift the conversation away from a Monmouth poll from Iowa released earlier that day that showed Cruz with a 5-point edge in the state.

Trump was still smarting from that poll last Friday, trashing it during a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, though he may change his tune after this latest result.

“What the hell is Monmouth?” Trump asked at the rally, adding, “I only like polls that treat me well.”

Monmouth’s survey also held good news for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who moved up to 10 percent support and third place, and bad news for retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who plummeted from 18 percent in October to 9 percent in this latest survey. Other candidates, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, polled within the margin of error, with 6 percent remaining undecided.

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